Lewis Diuguid

August 28, 2013

Improve education, create jobs to end youth violence

Kansas City Mayor Sly James was among 17 big-city mayors who met Tuesday with President Barack Obama about ending youth violence. But more than gun control, ending youth violence must start with creating jobs in the urban core. That should be the focus of a White House effort.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and President Barack Obama seemed like best buds Tuesday in talks the president had with 17 big-city mayors and Attorney General Eric Holder about ending youth violence.

James said half of Kansas City’s homicides are tied to a 13-square-mile part of the 319-square-mile city. The mayor said that far too many teenage boys in that part of town everyone in their lives has a gun, The Kansas City Star reports.

But more than gun control, what has to happen in that community is a concentrated effort to reduce the high unemployment rate, add companies offering good paying jobs and beef up schools, libraries and after school programs that will inspiring children to learn and grow up to be somebody.

Repairing the problems will end the violence because youths will have something to live for and feel that they are connected to the community that they’ll want to help rebuild.

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